Why UDF cannot marshal numbers in WESTERN Kenya

By Kevin Watsiaya

Why UDF cannot marshal numbers in WESTERN Kenya

Christened the third force, or horse, Amani Alliance was formed during the joint UDF, Kanu and New

Ford Kenya Delegates’ Conference to counterbalance the Jubilee Alliance and Coalition for Reforms and

Democracy’s rollercoaster in western. During the January 4 event at Bomas of Kenya, Wamalwa stepped

out of the presidential race, endorsed Mudavadi’s bid for the presidency and declared the 1.4 million

Luyhia votes out of reach for presidential candidates outside Luyhialand. The two leaders further

declared that the Luyhia nation will henceforth not only speak with one voice, but vote for one of their

own as well. The launch of the alliance came shortly after both Mudavadi and Eugene had been

humiliated and hounded out of Jubilee Alliance even though the two represent the political face of the

Luyhia community. The fact that the two could be hounded out of Jubilee with the political cost to

Jubilee, says something about the place of the Luyhia people and the value of their vote in national

politics. It must be noted that at the time both men were being ejected out of Jubilee, Uhuru and Ruto

were openly courting Charity Ngilu and Najib Balala probably because they consider them of political

value than Mudavadi and Eugene Though buoyed by impressive numerical advantage in national census,

the Luyhia elite has failed to define its interests in national politics, making it amenable to humiliation

and manipulation as the case of the two in Jubilee. Oftentimes, the Luyhia elite has come out as timid,

gullible and cheap in national discourse. From radio and TV talk shows, parliamentary debates and even

political campaigns forums, the Luyhia elite has surrendered to the Luo, Kikuyu, and of Kalenjin elite and

are comfortable playing the cheering role. While this character has a historical flavour to it, the current

political elite, led by Mudavadi, Eugene, Cyrus Jirongo and Musikari Kombo et al has made a mess of the

situation by allowing themselves to be manipulated by lesser politicians like Ruto and some bureaucrats

like Nick Wanjohi. It is a historical fact that the Luyhia elite avoided Kanu and opted for Kadu at

Independence. While the reasons can only be speculated, it is believed that this elite opted for Kadu out

of fear of domination by the Luo and Kikuyu as Kadu was considered a party for the small tribes. Even

with their numbers, the Luyhia did not lead party and was happy to acquiesce themselves in the small

tribe mentality. It was at that time that the seed of inferiority complex and small tribe mentality was

planted in the minds of the Luyhia nation.

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